Dear Valley Christian Church,
Thank you so much for your support of our ministry in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Our mission "Emanuel Mexico Mission" is expanding and reaching out to our community. Our church has two new classrooms. One is for adults with a computer and screen, which allows for our lesson to be presented in power point. The other classroom is for the youth. We are hoping to begin our food pantry this month as well.
We currently have 5 young men (boys) staying with us that are studying in the Jr. High, High School and University. We are calling this ministry our Campus House. These boys are helping with their own expenses, chores, etc. It is good for them to begin learning how to be responsable while still living under our roof.
Thank you for your offerings and prayers.
David and Sheri DeBolt
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU
from hot, humid South Africa.
We arrived safely back in South Africa on December 12 after our flights from Minneapolis to Boston, then from Boston to Amsterdam, and (a very bumpy flight) from Amsterdam to Cape Town. Our flight landed in Cape Town too late to catch a flight to Durban so we stayed overnight and left early the next morning. Our daughter, Dina, met us there with a pickup to transport us and all of our luggage home.
Shortly after we got to our house, most of the rest of the family arrived and we enjoyed visiting and eating together. What a joy to see our girls, their husbands and six of the seven grandchildren. (John and Rebecca had to work so they couldn’t be here.) The little ones all grew a lot while we were away – especially Michael, who was seven weeks old when we left and almost eight months old when we got back.
It did take a few days to get our body clocks back on the right time zone. I (Caryl) especially had a hard time with that this time. I don’t know if it was just tension or if I am just getting old! Fortunately, I am now almost back to normal sleeping and waking hours. We have been busy trying to get the house back in order and taking care of some urgent paper work.
On Sunday, the 16th we went to a church about forty-five minutes from here for special services. Two of the ministers from KwaZulu Natal were ordained. Two of the ministers from the Northern Cape came to participate in the service. We enjoyed seeing a lot of our Christian friends at that service. We were especially pleased to see Anna Songo, widow to minister Barnabas Songo. She is 80 years old and still in good health.
Monday was a public holiday here and Sunday had been Chayah’s 10th birthday so the family gathered at their house to celebrate. We had a pizza party - the choice of the birthday girl. Grandpa made home-made ice cream to go with the cupcakes her mom made. It was a fun and relaxing day.
The Christmas celebrations have begun. We went to a carols’ evening and nativity play last night. Chayah was Angel Gabriel, Erin was also an angel, Seanna was a shepherd and Matthew was the star of Bethlehem, complete with flashing lights. We will attend church at Umzumbe tomorrow and then join a small group to sing carols at a hospice in Port Shepstone on Monday. Our family Christmas will be on Christmas Day at Diane and John’s house.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019!!
"ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND"
The words of this old hymn reminds us of who we believe in. "There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6 The scriptures remind us of who we believe in and who we are, but most importantly who we live for and serve.
Exactly half of my life has now been dedicated to Christian ministry. Has the latter half been more easy than the first? NO! There have been more challenges physically, emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes we are put in positions of leadership to defend the faith we believe in and defend the reasons we answered the call to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Along the way, some have abandoned us, some have questioned our ways. I'm reminded that even the closest of Jesus's followers denied and abandoned Him. Those verses from Ephesians 4 remind us of our Christian heritage and Christian doctrine. We are placed here to share the Church of Christ doctrine only and defend our beliefs in Jesus Christ.
We were, "created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:24 In the NIV Thompson Chain Reference Bible there is a heading beside these verses. "Lessons in Christ School". Teaching, Christ, the Truth. As many have said the best school is called "Life". I call it "Living for Jesus".
As this year is coming to a close we look back on the many challenges that faced us. Here we are close to entering a new year with our faith stronger than ever, our convictions to serve the Church of Christ stronger than ever and ready for new opportunities to boldly say "ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND." I believe in Jesus Christ, I proudly can say I am "Christian only and I live for and serve the Church of Christ." "I'm a Christian" no matter the circumstances, are you?
NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN 2019:
A. The Iglesia de Cristo (Church of Christ) is growing once again. They will be given the opportunity to have more space for more outreach such as graded Sunday School space for both the children, teens and adults.
B. We will take on more Mission responsabilities and outreach to the inner city as well as Mexico as more funds become available. Plans are to help young adults in need of a home while they study. Much like a Christian campus house.
C. The Food Pantry is ready to serve orphans, widows, the San Luis Potosi Bible College and who ever else is in need.
D. Not only a Food Pantry will be available, but a place for clothes and other articles for the Inner City people.
E. Inner City VBS, outreach and camps both in the north and south are already on the 2019 calendar.
F. Raise more personal support for Jose who is the minister of the Ontañon Church. One church has already adopted Jose and is supporting him with a monthly gift.
These are just a few of the ministries that Emanuel Mexico Mission will be involved in. Are the funds available for all this and more? It depends on our Faith in God and your trust in us. We are one in Jesus Christ! Thank you for praying, giving and believing in us.
HEADING BACK TO SOUTH AFRICA
As we count down the hours to our departure, we look back over the past 15 months. Caryl returned to the US in August, 2017, nearly two months before Michael returned in October. When he arrived we “hit the ground running” and visited seven supporting churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
We returned to South Africa at the end of December, attended a niece’s wedding, enjoyed a photo safari with Michael’s siblings and a family friend, welcomed grandchild number seven, and got back to work.
In July 2018 we returned to the US and over the past 5 months we have visited our supporting churches and individuals in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. We also attended the International Conference on Missions in Cincinnati and visited the Ark Encounter.
We made our home base in Kimball Minnesota with our friend, Richard Eckman, in 2017 and with Larry and Marguerite Stanley in Apple Valley Minnesota this year. We are so thankful for them and for family and friends who hosted us on our travels and on breaks between trips.
In 2017 we got a Honda Accord to drive during our times here. We were able to sell it just a few days ago. Praise the Lord! We will miss it, but we are so glad to have that taken care of before our departure.
Now we are packing the suitcases and getting ready to leave Minnesota with its cold and snow for the heat and humidity of South Africa. Thank the Lord for safety and provision over the past 15 months. Pray for us as we travel and resume our ministry in South Africa.
LIVING IN THE INNER CITY
Sad to say that little to no evangelism has taken place in the inner city of San Luis Potosi in the last three years. Just 1/2 block away from the Ontañon Church of Christ one of the inner city gangs have built an altar to Satan and Death (Santa Muerte - Holy Death). This altar was not there 3 years ago. Drugs are sold in plain sight at this same altar day or night. You don't see kids out after dark playing in the streets like before. Stores are closed earlier.
On a positive note the neighbors around the church are overwhelmed with our return. October 20, we opened up the church to the neighbors for a "Movie Night", Popcorn, Pop and a Christian Movie. The movie started and no neighbors. I told one of the Bible College students "come with me, I'm going to show you how to evangelize this neighborhood": "Don't be afraid and show no fear of them, they are our neighbors and friends."
We went straight to the Satanic altar. Loud music was blaring, the smell of marijuana was strong in the air, they were dealing drugs out of the back of a car. Some of the kids were stone cold drunk or high. This is a typical Saturday night event for them. I went right into the middle of their circle and re invited them to the movie which was playing just a 1/2 block away. For two weeks prior, I walked the neighborhood passing out flyers and talking to those that would listen. The college student and I returned to the movie with no one following us.
But, then to my surprise one of the boys from the altar came in and sat beside me in the back row. Sheri already had an elderly neighbor lady sitting next to her helping her to understand what the movie was about and where it was leading to, the Salvation Story. The movie was: "Poema de Salvacion". It was about how rock music turned a young person into a satanic believer and then later in the movie he became a new Christian. The movie ended and the elderly lady thanked Sheri over and over again for the Bible that she was given. She held it close to her heart and shared how happy she is to be able to read the Bible in her home, especially her favorite book: Psalms.
A few years ago we had an inner city kitchen mission in the area of the "Niños de la Calle" (Children of the Street). Their leader told me, "You Christians are different than all the other churches who come to help us". He said, "all the others roll down their car windows and literally threw out food and clothes to us. But you Christians get out of your car and are not afraid of us, you actually care for us, you hug us, you feed us, you give us clothes without judging our outer appearances". One of those Niños de la Calle boys was Jose, who is now our preacher at the Ontañon Church of Christ. His dream is to help feed the poor, clothe the needy, visit the sick and study the Word with those in prison. Sounds Biblical doesn't it? Matthew 25:35-40
In the coming months you will hear more about the ministry opportunities we have been given by moving back into the inner city.
A. There will be a Food Pantry - Matthew 4:4 opening soon (January 2019) at the church. There are stores already telling us that food will be given at no cost to supply the pantry.
B. The boy who came to the movie asked for a pair of tennis shoes. We will re-open the church to provide clothing and shoes to those that truly have needs such as these. Our famous neighborhood bazaar. We have an abundance of clothes and on December 29, this opportunity will be available along with Christian music playing, Movies for the children, and devotions throughout the day.
C. Begining in January 2019, we will open up once again our ministry doors to visitors to have a first hand experience of the mission field. What is needed: willing workers who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty and show love for people that call the Barrio de San Miguelito home. Inner City opportunities include: VBS, Painting, Building, Roof Repairs, Cleaning, Help Feed the Poor through the Food Pantry and much more.
Pray about it! Then get excited to come join us as a church group, family or even an internship.
"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:35-38 I want to highlight just one word from these verses: "COMPASSION". Jesus showed compassion to those in need. This is our mission, to show compassion to the needy, "LIVING IN THE INNER CITY".
Will you pray for us? Will you support us? Thanksgiving is coming soon and giving Tuesday soon after. Help us impact the inner city! We need Churches, Sunday Schools, Families, Men, Women and Children willing to give to the needs of others living in the inner city.
Christ Centered Ministries, Helping Others by Showing the Compassion of Jesus Christ to Those Living in the Inner City of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Emanuel Mexico Mission
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Emanuel Mexico Mission
Iglesia Cristiana Ontañon
Dear Christian Friends,
Thank you for your generosity this month! We are so grateful for your participation in transforming lives in Mexico. God has truly blessed us! As I stop to think about September many things come to mind:
The kids are back in school! Many are in different schools due to graduations this summer! It’s great to see them working hard to excel for their future.
Our young adults are making decisions about staying or leaving as they have turned 18 or finished Prepa (High School). Some have felt it is time to be out on their own and responsible for themselves and their future. Others have decided to stay and continue to study and grow inside the organization. It is a privilege to see them grow and develop!
We have staff that is working hard with each child to help them become the person that God has designed them to be. Their desire is to prepare them for that day when they will grow up and make the decision to be on their own!
I have been in contact with many of our alumni, and it is great to know that they are working hard to provide for themselves and their families.
Three of our alumni had babies this month. Beautiful children that remind me that we are not only serving a child – but we are serving future children! What a privilege to see how God has broken the cycle and given these babies opportunities that their parent did not have.
I hope that you know that your partnership continues to make a difference in the lives of many people. Thank you for sharing and giving!
Niños de Mexico
Well, it has certainly been a busy time over the past few months. I just realized that we have not sent you any news since July!
We have spent quite a lot of time with family. We were fortunate to be able to visit my 90-year-old step-mother twice. She is amazingly well for her age. She still has a sense of humor and entertains us when we visit. (She doesn’t like beards and mustaches and both Michael and my sister’s husband have them, so she gives them a hard time!)
We have visited several historic areas with Michael’s brother, Duane. They are both very interested in history and aviation. We attended my family reunion with aunts, uncle, cousins and their families. It was great to see some we haven’t seen in many years.
We began visiting churches at the end of July. We started with a trip to Nebraska. We visited an individual supporter and good friend in the Omaha area. She treated us to a day at the Henry Doorly Zoo. Then we traveled on to visit two supporting churches on the next two Sundays. It was great to see our supporters in Nebraska again and to renew acquaintances and make new friends. In the week between we spent time with our hosts and visited some historic sites in their area. We also spent two days at the Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Minden Nebraska.
When we got back to Minnesota our granddaughter, Gabriella, arrived from South Africa for a ten-week visit. We got to participate in many of the activities that were arranged for her – including a Minnesota Twins game, a camping trip, the Minnesota State Fair, some museums and historic sites, a trip to see the source of the Mississippi River, a dinner cruise on the St. Croix River, a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown, and many visits with family and friends! Are you tired yet? We are!!
In addition to that we have also visited a supporting church in Iowa and a supporting church in South Dakota as well as two more individual supporters and some friends. Gabriella went with us to South Dakota so after the church visit we traveled on west to visit the Badlands, Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Wall Drug. The weather was perfect and one of the highlights was seeing a herd of bison!
We have a few more family events before Gabriella leaves later in October. Then Michael’s sister, Debbie, will arrive for a few weeks to visit her brothers here. They are all looking forward to having the four siblings together again. There are several family activities planned for that time.
We will also continue our visits to churches. We will visit one more church in South Dakota and make a trip to Indiana and Ohio in November to visit four more supporting churches and some individuals. Between last year and this year, we hope we will have been able to visit all of our supporters! We will also attend the International Conference on Missions in Cincinnati in November.
Pray for us as we travel. Also pray for the churches and our work in South Africa. We are in contact with a lady from the church and with some of the ministers and their wives who keep us informed about the situation there. We also have regular contact with our children, thanks to email and internet!